2019 Program Schedule Coming Soon!

The entrepreneurial landscape has changed significantly since the first Atlantic Venture Forum in 2013. As the ecosystem continues to gain momentum, the AVF is being transformed to meet the needs of this dynamic region. New ventures and growth stage companies need more than just financial capital to succeed. Innovation, partnerships, ingenuity, and expertise are just a few of the ingredients for an entrepreneur’s tech success story, and you will find all of these and more when you join us at the 2019 Atlantic Venture Forum in Halifax, NS.

Click Here to download a PDF version of the 2018 program, complete with speakers and company listings.

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AVF 2018 - Day One - June 28

7:00 - 8:05

Registration & Continental Breakfast

Exhibition Display Setup

8:05 - 8:15

Welcome & Opening Remarks from ACOA

8:15 - 9:15

Panel Session - Meet the Investors

Hungry for capital to feed your growing venture? These investors have the nourishment your business needs. Listen in to a diverse group of bold venture capitalists as they tell you exactly what types of investments they are looking for at the 2018 Atlantic Venture Forum.

Andrew Ray

Investment Manager, IT (Moderator)

Andrea Drager

Vice President

Scott Pelton


Michelle Scarborough

Managing Director, Strategic Investments & Women in Tech

Hooman Mehranvar


Frédéric Lemaitre Auger

Senior Director, Investments

Jake Cassaday

Associate Partner

Douglas Saxon

Venture Partner

Pascal-Hugo Plourde

Director, Partnerships


Shayn Diamond


9:15 - 10:00

Keynote Speaker

John Hill

VP of Network, Techstars

Build a Network Before You Need One, So It’s There When You Do!

John is the Network Catalyst for a company that dreams big, global and accelerates the growth of tech companies. Techstars is a mentorship driven seed stage investment program. To date, hundreds of companies have gone through the Techstars accelerator, and John is charged with supporting and growing a global network of tech entrepreneurs, mentors and investors who surround them and the Techstars team.

As a speaker, John often implores others to have the audacity to “Dream Big”!

10:00 - 10:45

Networking Break

10:45 - 11:45

Technology Showcase: Early Stage Company Presentations & Investor Feedback Panel

This Showcase gives the hottest Early Stage companies an opportunity to present in front of the entire audience and a constructive feedback panel of investors. Following each five-minute quick pitch, the investor panel will provide immediate feedback to the presenters.

Ben McDade

Investment Associate (Moderator)

Johanne Sevigny

Managing Director and VP Startups, Ecofuel Fund and Accelerator

Andrea Drager

Vice President

11:45 - 12:15

Tech Talk Speaker

Bonnie Halper

Co-Founder, Ladies Who Lead

No is an Acronym: “Not Ordinarily”

With over 24 years of experience, New York-based Bonnie Halper has worn many different hats in the technology startup world including, entrepreneur, talent recruiter, journalist and industry expert, to name a few! As the co-founder of Ladies Who Lead, an event that aims to provide premium mentorship to the next generation of women in business, Bonnie has built her career around mentoring, inspiring and educating those in the technology space in an effort to bridge the gap among industries. Columbia and Oxford University educated, as well as an avid writer and commentator, Bonnie has been quoted in notable publications including the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, MarketWatch, and Time Magazine. In addition to Ladies Who Lead, Bonnie also acts as an advisor to three top global accelerators and has founded StartUp OneStop, a platform designed for startup communities to network, exchange industry knowledge, and hear from Bonnie herself.

12:15 - 13:15

Networking Lunch

Hosted Investor and Strategic Tables

13:15 - 14:00

Keynote Speaker

Josh Simair

Co-Founder, SkipTheDishes

A $200 Million Exit Story: One of Canada’s Largest Tech Deals

Founded in 2012, SkipTheDishes is Canada’s leading and North America’s fastest-growing food delivery company. Now serving 90 North American cities and delivering millions of orders a month in partnership with 10,000+ restaurants, the on-demand food delivery network was recently acquired by Just Eat in 2016 in a deal worth over $200 million, marking one of Western Canada’s largest tech exits to date.

With a passion for creating value for his customers, his employees and shareholders, Josh has become a poster child for the virtues of doing business in the Prairies and was recently named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. With SkipTheDishes, the vision was to address the service gap for popular Winnipeg restaurants and eateries that were in high-demand, but didn’t offer home delivery. He needed to create a way to facilitate a relationship between the customer with a need, and the vendor with a product.

14:00 - 14:30

Technology Showcase: Growth Stage Presenting Companies

Bring on the game-changers! High growth Health & Life Science technology entrepreneurs showcase their plans to revolutionize industries and generate lucrative returns for investors. These growth stage ventures will show investors right to the Exit.

14:30 - 15:00

Networking Break

15:00 - 15:45

Panel Session

Life Sciences & Health Technology: Industry Outlook and Opportunity Landscape

This panel of experts will explore the current forces and trends at play for Health and Life Sciences Technologies. Delving into the critical role played by “big industry” to validate and accelerate adoption of new technologies. The discussion will focus on how entrepreneurs can optimize their respective commercialization pathways from product validation through to procurement and market adoption.

Scott Moffitt

Managing Director


Matthew Johnson

VP, Business Development

Ella Korets-Smith

Executive Director


Amine Benmoussa

Principal, Healthcare Venture Fund

Jacki Jenuth


Rob Levings

VP, SaaS

15:45 - 16:30

Panel Session

Scaling Your Company: Got Money… Now What?

Hear from local entrepreneurs that have raised capital and learn more about what a growing company looks like in the days after their funding is secured… Get the inside scoop from these growing Atlantic Canadian tech companies, as they break down their respective journeys toward raising capital, and what the growing pains look like once it is secured. Listen in to get a glimpse into what lies ahead after the cash is in hand…

Jordan Kyriakidis

President & CEO (Moderator)

Thomas Rankin

Co-Founder & CEO

Myrna Gillis


Chris Gardner

President & CEO

Kyle Racki

Co-Founder & CEO

16:30 - 16:45

Closing Remarks & End of Day 1

16:45 - 18:30

Taste of Nova Scotia Lobster Bash!

Lobster. Lots of it. Pair that with scores of locally produced delicacies (brought in from across Nova Scotia), and plenty of fresh cocktails. The Annual Taste of Nova Scotia Lobster Bash is the Atlantic Canadian technology networking party of the summer. Bottom line here is: good food + good people = good times… Oh, and did we mention there will be lobster?

AVF 2018 - Day Two - June 29

07:30 - 8:30

Full Delegate Networking Breakfast

Warm Breakfast Buffet

8:25 - 8:30

Opening Remarks

8:30 - 9:15

Panel Session - Engaging the Corporate Strategics

Corporate industry leaders and major technology businesses share elements of their strategic agendas for working with and engaging entrepreneurs. From partnering with and acquiring emerging technology companies, and the integration process. Listen in as our panel of key players discuss the current opportunity landscape and how they successfully engage with entrepreneurs to achieve their corporate innovation goals.

Brenda Hogan

Senior Investment Manager


Sanjeev Gill

National Industry Leader for Research

Scott Mikalachki

Innovation Discovery Leader

Nick Kadysh

Government Affairs & Policy Leader

09:15 - 10:00

Networking Break

10:00 - 10:45

Tech Talk Speaker

David Brennan

CFO, ecobee

The Art of the Raise

As a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience within accounting, finance and investor relations, David Brennan is a force to be reckoned in the world of VC, M&A, and high growth business. David has spent his career making a name for himself as a leader with a knack for raising significant capital and attracting top talent while working in multiple industries including, SaaS, hardware and software, public accounting, and banking. As the current Chief Financial Officer at ecobee, he has recently completed a capital raise of $50 Million, for a total of over $130 Million in financing. David is passionate about developing people and businesses as well as achieving innovative solutions with authority and integrity!

10:45 - 11:15

Technology Showcase - Growth Stage Presenting Companies

Bring on the game-changers! High growth technology entrepreneurs showcase their plans to revolutionize industries and generate lucrative returns for investors. These Growth Stage ventures will show investors right to the Exit.

11:15 - 12:00

Tech Talk Speaker

Chris Burns

Co-Founder & CEO, Novonix

Answering Unanswerable Questions

As a former Senior Battery Research Engineer with TESLA Motors, Co-founder and CEO of Novonix, Chris Burns, is no stranger to the world of renewable and sustainable power. Novonix was created to determine and test the lifespan of lithium batteries, something that was seemingly unknown. Since inception in 2013, Novonix has now grown to be a global manufacturer of the highest accuracy battery testing equipment worldwide and boasts clients that include leaders in automotive, electronics, and battery manufacturing!

12:00 - 13:00

Networking Lunch

Hosted Investor and Strategic Tables

13:00 - 13:05

Best Presenting Company Awards Ceremony

Presented by ACOA

13:05 - 13:45

Keynote Speaker

Jim Gibson

Innovation Leader & Author

Our Species and Technology at a Crossroads

With 30 years of experience at the forefront of technology and change, Jim Gibson is a passionate advocate for “paying attention” to what’s coming and providing concrete examples of how we can all be leaders and role models for change. As an active leader in the innovation community, his talk will take themes from his newly-released book, Tip of the Spear, and challenge the #AVF2018 audience to understand and respond to a new world that sees infinite possibilities meeting serious global problems head on.

Jim has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, a B.Comm from the University of Toronto, and holds his Certified Management Consulting Designation. Jim lives in Calgary, Canada with his family, and travels the world sharing his experience, business acumen, and start-up wisdom.

13:45 - 14:00

Closing Remarks from ACOA